21:35 14 July 2016
New technology is poised to change the farming landscape using smart robots on the field.
In Australia, a robotic cowboy has been built to herd cattle. The SwagBot is battery-operated and can reach speeds of 15 to 20 kilometres on smooth terrain. In a series of trial conducted last month at a farm near Newcastle, the robot performed what was required and frightened the cows.
Professor Sukkarieh said: 'They were obviously scared and ran away. It's what we expected,'
'We use it to our advantage in herding animals, or we figure out how to monitor from a distance.'
'Over the next few months, we'll be looking at what algorithms we need to put together to allow the animal monitoring,'
Meanwhile, in the UK, a broccoli-picking robot has been developed by researchers from the University of Lincoln. It uses a 3D camera taken from a Microsoft Kinect games console.
'Broccoli is one of the world's largest vegetable crops and is almost entirely manually harvested, which is costly,' said project lead Professor Tom Duckett, group co-ordinator of the Agri-Food Technology Research Group at the University of Lincoln.
'This technology is seen as being an important move towards developing fully automatic robot harvesting systems, which could then be used for a variety of different crops.'